Good Guys is a detective story: the main characters have to find out who’s killing people with magic. Seems simple, but along the way they have to figure out if they’re actually the good guys and if they’re working for the right people.
I have a complaint about Good Guys that I’ve run into a couple of times lately. I’m not sure why this isn’t being caught/addressed, or if this is a factor of growing older and more aware of the technical aspects of writing, but Brust is not good, especially early on, about signalling that the story is being told from a different character’s point of view. I went several chapters before realizing that the sections being told from the bad guy’s perspective weren’t being told from Donovan’s. It’s not that I didn’t know who the person was who had the perspective, but that I could so easily mix them up.
Other than that one complaint, I enjoyed Good Guys. The “whodoneit” aspect of the story is answered early on, the “whydoneit” follows within a reasonable amount of time. When the characters do something stupid, the results of their stupidity (impatience) are what you would expect. The guy who falls into the “magic is real” actually acts like someone would in his position, and the confrontation with the higher-ups actually feels real. There are no loose ends dangling, although this could easily be turned into a series.
I enjoyed it, although I’m not sure it will go onto my “reread” list. A solid 3.5 stars.
Brust, Steven. Good Guys. New York, NY: Tor Books, 2018. Kindle edition. Amazon.